My Mother’s Mouth - D.I.E. McKinley

D.I.E. McKinley is the 3rd place prize winner of the Spring 2021 Sad Girls Club Poetry Contest


I see my mother in my mouth

The way it pouts, top lip a sinking ship

Into a rosy tide

Spilling secrets, snide and jeering

I know her sneer when I see it


Her mouth in the mirror

Shaping sounds of my full name

The one I couldn’t hear for years

The name I had to learn to love

I had to learn to love me


A split in the lip, a changed personality

A wry grin making a heart

It’ll tell you it loves you

But I never did

I tell you because I’d like to hear it


If I let her, she’ll use our mouth

Speaking for me, manipulating all

The words she tastes

Kissing all the boys I hate

I’ll seal it shut


Let her tear the skin apart

Watch her drink blood

Watch her choke on crimson in reflection

Maybe then she’ll finally be quiet

When she’s rendered me silent.

D.I.E. McKinley is a young, nonbinary poet from suburban Detroit, always working on one novel or another.

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